The Voltaggio Brothers' Essential Gear

The duo share their picks for living your best life in (and outside) the kitchen

1Blundstone Boots

Whether it’s Mario Batali’s signature orange Crocs or a classic pair of Dansko clogs, what a chef puts on their feet for service is very personal. For Bryan Voltaggio, it’s heavy-duty boots ($120 to $170): “These are the most essential tool for me when putting in long hours at the stove.”

3Apple Watch

"I know people have opinions on wearable tech,” Bryan says. “But  . . . this thing ($340) was made for me.” Its crucial benefits: It alerts him about upcoming meetings and tracks his biking mileage.

2Vans Slip-Ons

While his brother rocks boots, Michael prefers Vans ($32 to $74), which he wears for business in the kitchen and pleasure while traveling. “They're great for passing through security,” he says. Over the years, he’s amassed a collection.

4Excalibur Food Dehydrator

A dehydrator ($350) is the kitchen essential you never knew you needed. “We run it for 24 hours a day at the restaurant,” Michael says. But, it’s “also great for the at-home cook to make sun-dried tomatoes, raisins and even fruit roll-ups."

5Houston Edge Works Knives

These custom knives ($175 to $1,750) from Stephen Pustilnik are Michael’s go-to. “[Stephen] uses inspiration from the best of German, Japanese and French design,” he says.

6Camp Chef Expedition Burner Stove

When Bryan is not in one of the kitchens at his six (soon to be seven—the Voltaggio Brother's Steak House opens December 8) restaurants, he likes to camp with his family and cook dinner over an open wood fire. And for “a little backup on my kitchen setup,” he brings along this three-burner stove ($250) for making burgers, sausages and veggies with restaurant-level BTU power that’s small enough to fit easily in the trunk of his car.

7Filson Alaskan Guide Flannel Shirt

Bryan knows that in addition to the right grill setup, proper outdoor clothing is not optional when it comes to camping. Especially for upland game hunting, which requires special gear and clothes to stay warm, like this cotton flannel ($125).  

8Argon 18 Krypton Road Bike

Like a growing number of chefs, Bryan takes exercise, especially cycling, seriously. His bike ($2,250) is also his preferred mode of transportation to and from his restaurants.

9Feder Knives

Custom knives, like the ones from sculptor Geoff Feder, are investment pieces but worth the price tag ($425 apiece) for those who spend their day in the kitchen. "Geoff is not only an artist . . . he also respects the practical needs of the chef,” Bryan says.